- "And then the Cataclysm came. King Taal rose from His Forest, and with Dark Morr muttering dire portents in His ear, He banished all immortals from the world. But the Cataclysm's architects refused His order. The Crow, the Hound, the Serpent, and the Vulture were jealous of King Taal, and had tried to use the Great Gates to take what was His. They had failed. As the other immortals fled, the Four attacked, bitter and angry with their frustrations. Many died. After countless battles, King Taal was eventually surrounded. There were few still by his side. Ulric the Wolf. Noble Margileo. Just Verena. Sotek the Snake. Manann of the Sea. And Gentle Shallya, tear-stained and afraid. Even Smiling Ranald had fled, and now hid in the Places Between, fearful for the future. Then, just as the Four and their allies arrived for the Final Battle, Flaming Phoenix, whom all had thought dead, returned from atop His Gleaming Pyramid, and He smote about Him. Thus the rebels were pushed behind the Great Gates, and were sealed there forever. But they were restless in their cage, and soon worked to escape."
- —Translated from the Obernarn Stone, now held in the Imperial Museum, Altdorf[1a]
Taal is one of the older gods of the Human tribesmen that created the Empire. He is a member of the 'northern' or 'country' family of gods. He is the God of Nature, the Lord of Beasts, Mountains and Forests. Taal rules nature and is considered "King of the Gods" by his followers. He claims the wild places as his domain and is primarily worshipped by hardy woodsmen, trackers, and rangers. His wife is Rhya, the Earth Mother, his brother Ulric, the God of Winter and Wolves, and his son Manann, God of the Sea. He is known for his volatile nature and urge to hunt.[2a] Like Nature, Taal is often viewed as indifferent to mortal concerns.
Appearance and Symbology
Taal is usually depicted as a huge, muscular man with a long beard and antlers upon his head.[2a] His second most favoured form is that of a mighty stag.
Taal's holy symbols include antlers, oaks, and stone axes.[2a]
Taal is worshipped alongside his wife, Rhya, in a combined cult. While Taal is the dominant partner in the relationship, his worshippers never forget to revere Rhya as well. It is the state-sanctioned religion in Talabecland. His worship is strongest in the north and east of the Empire, in the rural areas.
- The Tileans use a different name for Taal they call him "Karnos", similar to the Elven god Kurnous, probably due to their translations of the ancient scrolls left by the High Elves in their colonies in the modern land of Tilea.